2024 GMC Sierra 2500 and 3500 HD First Look: Denali Ultimate, AT4X Join Ranks
It is understandable that Chevrolet’s all-new Silverado HD was not well received when it was launched, mostly due to its polarizing exterior design and lackluster interior. Thankfully, GMC’s 2020 Sierra HD faced much less criticism, arriving with a much more handsome exterior but the same uninspiring interior and tech suite as its predecessor.
Just four years ago, Chevrolet introduced its updated 2024 Silverado HD lineup to much fanfare. With new exterior styling that was on-point and the fabulous new interior similar to what originally launched on the 2022 Silverado 1500, the Silverado HD finally delivered on all of our wishes. However, one question still lingered: What about Sierra? Though the prospect of a fresh interior and advanced technology excited us, we couldn’t help but be a touch concerned about what the future held for Sierra’s already classy styling.
It’s finally time for GMC to unveil its new Sierra HD for 2024, and we’re glad to report that any concerns we may have had have been addressed. Like the star of every new season of The Bachelor, the Sierra HD is even more chiseled, sculpted, and handsome.
The GMC Sierra HD’s 6.6-liter Duramax diesel comes ready to party with 470 hp and 975 lb-ft of torque, which represents an increase of 25 hp and 65 lb-ft. To facilitate this increase, the engine received an all-new and more efficient turbocharger, new cylinder heads with improved cooling capability, new pistons with redesigned bowls, new fuel injectors, increased injection pressure, and a new engine controller. This led to not just an overall increase in power, but torque increases across the rpm range as well, with the bulk of the improvement being found in the bottom half of the curve. In practical terms, this means better acceleration when pulling heavy loads. The Duramax diesel’s engine braking function has also been improved by way of a more powerful turbo vane actuator and uprated engine valvesprings.
Towing where it matters most
Reports say that the average sales split between ¾ and 1-ton pickups is somewhere around 75/25. GMC has increased the Sierra HD’s maximum towing capability, but in a surprising place- the max trailer weight of 36,000 pounds with a regular-cab, short-bed, dually stays in place, but Sierra 2500 HD crew-cab towing capacity increases to best in class 21,900 pounds. Naturally, regular-cab and extended-cab pickups should come with higher tow ratings, but with this GMC is specifically taking aim at the heart of the market.
Styling updates on the exterior
The bulk of the exterior enhancements for the Sierra HD pickup center around the grille, front bumper, and fascia area. In addition, Denali and Denali Ultimate trim levels receive a unique crossbar element through the functional hood scoop on Duramax diesel models. Though much of the exterior attention was given to the nose, improved taillamps adorn the rear of the Sierra HD. New lighting also gives way to new animated lighting sequences when approaching, starting, or using the turn signals. SLE, AT4, and Denali models receive new wheel options, including optional 22-inch rolling stock. Even dual-rear-wheel models get in on the wheel action with a new, larger 18-inch wheel. Six new colors are available and include Titanium Rush Metallic, Sterling Metallic, Volcanic Red Tintcoat, Redwood Metallic, Meteorite Metallic, and Downpour Metallic.
Finally, a modern interior
In the past, the Sierra HD’s interior design and technology suite lag behind its exterior styling and drivetrain capabilities. In 2024, that will change. GMC designers created unique interiors for the SLE and SLT trims, as well as distinct premium interiors for the AT4, Denali, and Denali Ultimate trims. Sierra HD’s base model Pro series model retains its interior from its outgoing 2023 model.
Its new 13.4-inch diagonal infotainment screen is the largest in its class and offers Google Built-In as well as wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, making it the largest in its class. The Sierra HD comes with a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel and a 15-inch full-color head-up display, totaling more than 40 inches of combined screen area.
It is the first time GMC has added adaptive cruise control to the Sierra HD in 2024, which can also be used with a trailer. Additionally, there are a number of standard safety features, including forward collision warning, lane departure warning, auto emergency braking, pedestrian braking, Intellibeam automatic high beams, and a distance indicator for following. The Pro Safety Plus package includes rear cross-traffic braking and trailer side blind zone alerts.
Technology for Towing Assistance
The GMC Sierra HD’s suite of advanced technologies doesn’t stop at just entertainment and safety—it also extends into the realm of towing, through GMC’s available ProGrade Trailering System. Anchoring the system is a massive 14 different camera views, which include hitch guidance with Hitch View, bed view with zoom, bed hitch guidance for fifth-wheel and gooseneck trailers, and rear side view with trailer length indicator. Also new is GCW Alert, which uses acceleration data to warn the driver if the truck and trailer exceed the vehicle’s gross combined weight rating (GCWR). Finally, an enhanced version of GMC’s impressive Transparent Trailer camera function is available for the 2024 Sierra HD and is now compatible with gooseneck and fifth-wheel trailers. Transparent Trailer utilizes a camera on the back of the truck along with an accessory camera mounted to the rear of the trailer, and stitches together a view of the area behind the truck as if the trailer were not there, allowing the driver to virtually “see through” the trailer.
The GMC Sierra Denali HD Ultimate is the most premium, luxurious, and technologically advanced Sierra HD to date. The truck comes fitted with a unique grille and exterior badging that come in dark Vader chrome. Around back, a MultiPro tailgate with Kicker audio system is standard, as are power side steps. Inside, the Denali Ultimate’s exclusive Alpine Umber interior comes with full-grain leather appointments on not only the seats but also the door panels, center console lid, and wrapped on the A- and B-pillar grab handles. Genuine open-pore Paldao wood trim is found on the instrument panel, along with real aluminum accents. Speaker grilles are etched stainless steel and cover a Bose 12-speaker premium audio system with Centerpoint surround technology. Headline and visors are premium microsuede, along with the A- and B-pillar trim. A rear-camera mirror, 15-inch head-up display, and power sunroof are also standard.
We’re getting a rugged AT4X
We suspected that a Sierra HD AT4X would not be far behind when Chevy teased the ZR2 HD model coming in late 2023. It appears we were correct as GMC has confirmed that the 2024 Sierra HD AT4X will arrive late in 2023 in a similarly vague one-line statement. After the impressive Sierra AT4X and Canyon AT4X, GMC will have a tough job filling for the Sierra HD AT4X.